# softmatter:Diffusion

### From NSDL Materials Digital Library Wiki

Diffusion is the process of a particle moving through a system by means of molecular motion (not by flow). This is typically described by Fick's Law,

where *j* is the flux of the difussing species, *D* is the diffusion coefficient, and *c* is the concentration. This equation says that the flux is proportional to the negative gradient of the concentration. To illustrate diffusion, it is common to place a drop of dye in water and watch the small drop diffuse out into the bulk system (i.e. the entire system becomes colored with the dye after a period of time). When the "drop of dye" is indistinquishable from the liquid (e.g. we place a drop of water into a glass of water), the diffusion process is refered to as **self-diffusion**.

The diffusion coefficient can be calculated in simulation in several methods; refer to the calculating the diffusion coefficient page for more information and examples.